ODI Cricket demands consistency and consistency brings rewards. There have been very few players who have dominated the game effortlessly and consistently for a large period. With bat, Sachin Tendulkar then, Virat Kohli now and the likes of Pollock & Muralitharan with the ball in the previous era, they have all reached a peak time of their careers which became a benchmark for others.
The ICC rankings were thus introduced to reward their greatness which they achieved at different points of their careers. In this article, we will take a look at players who crossed 900 rating points in this century. There have only been 6 Cricketers in these 20 years till now.
917 – Shaun Pollock
The prominent South African All-rounder Shaun Pollock holds the record of achieving the highest rating points by a cricketer in this century. Pollock, who retired from all formats of the game achieved this in February 2007 which tells us a story about retiring at his peak.
Pollock was undoubtedly one of the greatest All-rounders to play cricket. His batting average of 26 and bowling average of 24 in the second longest or shortest format was his legacy. He still has the lowest economy among the bowlers who have taken more than 300 ODI wickets. An economy of only 3.68, a facet of his life which made people call him South African version of Glenn McGrath. He wasn’t very quick but he was gun-barrel straight and that’s what someone needs the most if he lacks the pace. Pollock took 393 wickets and achieved 917 rating points after picking 7 wickets for only 36 runs in his last 20 overs of the series. It is still the third highest rating ever achieved by a bowler.
913 – Muttiah Muralitharan
The highest wicket taker in Test cricket was no mug in ODIs as he became only the second cricketer after Glenn McGrath to achieve the career ratings of 900+ in ODIs. Co-incidentally, he only replaced McGrath at the top when he went on to achieve this feat.
Murali is the all time leading wicket taker in both Tests and ODIs and his wickets came at a real quick rate. He had a bowling average of 23 and strike rate of only 35 which meant Murali used to get in every 6th over on an average. The spin wizard had a 19 years long career which ended with a world cup final loss to India in 2011. Murali, in the first two matches of the tri series with Pakistan and New Zealand in UAE took 8 wickets by conceding only 36 runs which made sure he overtook McGrath to become the then number 1 bowler in the world.
911 – Virat Kohli
After two bowlers of the earlier era, it is finally the turn of a batsman to feature in this list. Indian batting maestro and an all time Great Virat Kohli has held on to the number 1 position in ODIs since November 2017, something which he has only consolidated time and again. He holds the record of achieving the highest rating points for a batsman in 21st century.
In this list, Kohli features as the only active player. While his current ICC rating is 886, he achieved his career best rating of 911 in the series against England in 2018. India lost that series after winning the first ODI but Virat Kohli was consistent again with 2 50s and a 45 in 3 games. Before that series, Kohli had scored 558 runs in South Africa which also included 3 hundreds. Indian captain first got to the number 1 ranking in October 2013 but as a batsman, he achieved his peak in 2016. For a little period, AB De Villiers dethroned him from the top rank but he was quick to regain it again which he hasn’t lost as yet.
903 – Glenn McGrath
From a batting maestro to a bowling legend, Glenn McGrath was the first player to get to 900 rating points in this century. He got to this landmark during the 7 Match series against South Africa in South Africa when he took 5 wickets in the first 3 Matches of the series.
McGrath was known for his consistency and accuracy with the ball. He bowled as close to stumps as one could, sometimes even threatened to knock one of the bails off. A little bit of movement off the deck and batsman would often find nicking one behind. His record of 563 Test wickets was broken by James Anderson in 2018. In his 15 years and 250 matches long ODI career, McGrath took 381 wickets at a cheap average of 22. Statistically, he is the 5th most successful fast bowler in ODI cricket.
902- AB De Villiers
South African batting genius AB De Villiers doesn’t only hold the record for achieving 900 career rating points but he is only the second batsman after Sir Vivian Richards to spend over 2200 Days as World’s number 1 ranked ODI batsman. De Villiers got to 902 rating points after 2015 World Cup Semifinal, a game he would not like to remember because of the heartbreaking result in the end.
AB amassed a total of 482 runs in the tournament which made him the third highest run scorer of the competition. In a game against West Indies, he shattered records by scoring 162* in only 66 balls. He scored vital 50s against Pakistan and New Zealand too, although both of them couldn’t yield his team a win. Before coming to the tournament, AB had just broken all the records with his breathtaking 149(44) against West Indies in January 2015.
901 – Hashim Amla
Hashim Amla was the first South African to cross 900 rating points in ICC rankings. Amla’s scores in the 2012 series against England were 150,43,45 and 97*, a performance which helped him getting to his peak rating point. With the first game getting washed out, Amla’s brilliance ensured South Africa manage to draw a tough away series.
Amla, over a very long period of time remained the only batsman who looked like matching Virat Kohli’s numbers in ODIs. He was, in fact he still is the quickest batsman to 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000 and 6000 ODI runs. His form dipped with age, but not his legacy. He retired from cricket only the last year but went on to achieve few incredible things in his 11 years long ODI career.